The Pastas

Crouching Penne, Hidden Spaghetti

Crouching Penne, Hidden Spaghetti
Shrimp Fritta superbly drenched in Chicken Pomodoro, put upon a pile of Tri Colored Vegetable Penne
Comments

This happens every few bowls - one random noodle that you did not order will somehow end up in your pasta. I don't know what kind of chaotic bacchanal the kitchen at Olive Garden is, but if they can't keep their noodles straight, what does that say about the rest of their health and safety protocols?!

Nothing, probably. It's just a freakin' noodle, man.

Pictured here is Crouching Penne, Hidden Spaghetti - can you spot it?

A Tasty Snack!

A Tasty Snack!
Tri Colored Vegetable Penne perfectly coated in Pesto Alfredo, adorned with Chicken Fritta
Comments

This Plain White Sauce keeps your body running smoothly and prevents your teeth from turning all grey.

Pictured here is A Tasty Snack! - you wanna go and eat a snack like that!

White Balance

White Balance
Chicken Pomodoro enhanced with a veritable bevy of Meatballs, swaddled in a fistful of Gluten Free Rotini
Comments

Apparently an important trick when you work exclusively in the medium of yellow-lit yellow pasta is the art of the White Balance. It turns sickly looking photos that appear to have been taken through a dirty microwave's plastic door window into works of art like what you see before you. The more you know!

Pictured here is White Balance, though personally I don't even see color (this is why my photographs are so bad, and racially sensitive).

Shuffle Play

Shuffle Play
Pesto Alfredo embedded with Chicken Fritta, nigh-erotically nestled within a blanket of Mezzaluna Ravioli
Comments

What happens when you pick three pasta ingredients totally at random that have no flavor profile compatibility at all?

A Gaze Into The Abyss

A Gaze Into The Abyss
Chicken Meatballs garishly saturated in Asiago Garlic Alfredo, tucked away inside a lump of Rigatoni
Comments

This photo is of the dish as it was served to me, with the meatball cracked open like a terrified and terrifying eyeball. Why Olive Garden felt it necessary to give me this personal glimpse into the depths of their meat products escapes me, but I like to think there's a reason behind everything they do.

Pictured here is A Gaze Into The Abyss - make sure it doesn't gaze back into you!

Firebird

Firebird
Tri Colored Vegetable Penne woven into Chicken Fritta, smeared with Chicken Pomodoro
Comments

A Phoenician delicacy, the chefs prepare this dish by squeezing the juice of a habanero over the chicken fritta to give its name a stinging ring of truth. Also, they don't actually do that, and I made this whole thing up.

Pictured here is Firebird - I'm a fraud, I'm sorry.

Trump Card

Trump Card
Shrimp Fritta put upon a cave, boy! A cave of Mezzaluna Ravioli, drenched in Pesto Alfredo
Comments

Disturbingly rich, tasteless, and slimy, this pasta is not worthy of the attention it gets. Yet it always seems to come out on top!

Pictured here is Trump Card - it beats China all the time. All the time.

Rich Uncle Pennybags

Rich Uncle Pennybags
Chicken Pomodoro festooned with Shrimp Fritta, replete with Mezzaluna Ravioli
Comments

Clocking in at a grand total of $17.47*, this is one a-spicy meat-a-ball, financially speaking. You can really taste the decadence that are afforded by the two most expensive upcharges. If you go this route, be sure you're hungry, because you'll want to get several refills to not feel guilty about throwing away nearly an entire NEPB's worth of money on mediocre ravioli and (admittedly great) shrimp.

Pictured here is Rich Uncle Pennybags - imagine it with a big cartoony moustache, monocle and top hat.

*This is the price at most nationwide Olive Gardens. You can expect to pay more at OGs in Alaska and the one in New York City.

The Chicken

The Chicken
Chicken Pomodoro delightfully pumped chock-full of Shrimp Fritta, set upon a heap of Rigatoni
Comments

"Profit," said I, "for sauce and topping!—profit still, refills unstopping!
Whether Waiter sent, or whether waiting for a bowl once more,
My Ziosk light yet blue and blinking, near the Coke Zero I'm drinking --
In this Olive Garden linking its entry hall to a Crocs store,
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!"
Quoth the Chicken, "Pomodor"

Glutton-Free Rotini

Glutton-Free Rotini
Chicken Meatballs merged with Chicken Pomodoro, delightfully hidden in a blanket of Gluten Free Rotini
Comments

This pasta has been genetically engineered to prevent overeating. They do this by making it super gluey and unpleasant to consume.

Pictured here is Glutton-Free Rotini, and true to its name, I only ate the one bowl.

Half-Moon

Half-Moon
Chicken Pomodoro richly tossed on a bundle of Mezzaluna Ravioli
Comments

Mezzaluna Ravioli is the Premium Pasta of this year's Never Ending Pasta Bowl. Clocking in at a $2.99 upcharge, it is, proportional to the $9.99 base cost of the NEPB, a significant investment. Is it worth it? Frankly, I don't think so. Your serving size is small, when compared to the cheaper pasta options. Furthermore, more than any other OG pasta, this one's "from a frozen bag" origins are obvious in terms of texture and taste. I don't think I'd order the Ravioli even without factoring in the upcharge, but the extra three dollars removes any hope of this becoming a favorite.

Pictured here is Half-Moon - the literal translation of "Mezzaluna". Learn something new every day!

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